Oh, have I been waiting for this one. I love hibiscus, and this calls for a homemade hibiscus cordial that – while very easy – takes some planning ahead.
At least a day before making the drink, assemble your cordial ingredients. If you’re familiar with the Mexican drink agua de jamaica, you already know what hibiscus flowers taste like. And it’s a great idea to buy them in bulk at a Latin grocer, because getting them in teabags as “hibiscus tea” is orders of magnitude more expensive.
Alongside 1 oz of the flor de jamaica, you’ll need the peeled (not grated) zest of a lemon, a clove, a stick of cinnamon, 3 allspice berries, 1/2 oz of peeled, sliced ginger, 1.5C sugar and 4C of water. Bring all of this to a simmer, steep it overnight, strain and chill it.
From there on, it’s easy:
- 1½ oz. rye whiskey (use a 40% rye… I used a 50% one and the drink was out of whack until David suggested we add a bit of water)
- ½ oz. Cognac
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. hibiscus cordial
- ¼ oz. Amaro Nonino (again: you did buy Amaro Nonino like I asked you to, right?)
Shake, strain over ice, and garnish with a lime wheel and a mint plouche (new favourite word… it encompasses louche, while “sprig” contains “prig.”)
This is a huuuuuge winner. You have the bright, tropical hibiscus and lime playing off against the rye, cognac and warm spices, and the Nonino bringing it a bitter finish. Well worth planning ahead for!
Adapted from a recipe in Imbibe.